Finally, the Formula One 2016 season is coming to a close in the most nail-biting race of the century at Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on 27th November 2016. The focus and attention will be on two of the 2016 most dominant drivers, Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg.
Lewis is trailing Nico on a thread margin of 12 points. A podium finish will guarantee the German driver his first maiden F1 title, even if the Briton wins the race. I am so sure both drivers will put up a spirited fight but it will be to the fans that will want the other driver to fail so that their favourite driver clinches the first or fourth championship.
These two talented drivers have had the best and quickest Mercedes F1 W07 Hybrid car, code named the Silver Arrow this season. They are going to keep the spectators and the whole wide world on tenterhooks as they battle for supremacy just in case there will not be any mechanical or electric failure. This will also leave Mercedes F1 competitors especially Red Bull and Ferrari among others gnashing to improve their cars come 2017.
Lewis the three world champion has had an unfortunate season whereas Nico has had a flawless race in 2016. Lewis has suffered FIVE severe and unrealistic occurrence compared to his teammate and they are;
- ERS failure during qualifying in China that saw him relegated to 22nd position on the grid but he went ahead to finish 7th,
- ERS failure during Q3 in Russia that saw him relegated to 10th on the grid but went ahead to finish 2nd,
- Engine failure during European Grand Prix which made him finish 5th after starting in 10th position and also following a crash in qualifying,
- Hydraulics fault during Practice Two in Singapore, a grave incident to his title chase. He went ahead to finish 3rd eventually, and
- Engine blowout in Malaysia, which cost him victory. Here was leading with 16 laps to go.
Niki Lauda and Toto Wolff weigh in on ‘team orders’
Niki Lauda the Mercedes F1 team’s non-executive chairman has earlier hinted and said that there will be no team orders for either Lewis or Nico as the pair battle for the World Championship.
Lauda the former three-time world champion just like Lewis said that both drivers are free to race, which Lewis has always supported for years, and that there will not be any instruction on their approach into turn 1, which has seen its fair share of controversies in the past championship battle deciders.
“Regardless of the standings, we won’t tell them how to race. There will be no deals about how they go into the first corner. It is the same at every weekend – they are free to race,” Lauda.
“There is no favouritism. Honestly. Toto Wolff, the team principal and I have been clear from the start that we leave it open for both drivers. That is the view from Dieter Zetsche (president of Mercedes’ parent company Daimler).”
The love for Lewis
Lewis commands a huge following word wide. He has a very strong following compared to other F1 drivers and in most of the sport’s key markets in terms of celebrity awareness. In the big markets of Brazil, China, India and the UK, Lewis scores are in the top three.
He has over three million Facebook fans with a third of those are in the UK and he has 2.6 million Twitter followers.
His winning mentality and the on-and-off track record gives me a chill along my spine. At the age of 10 he was crowned the youngest-ever winner of the British Cadet Kart championship and thereafter won multiple European karting championships. Then came the financial support of McLaren which propelled him to stardom.
Above all, his father and former manager Anthony Hamilton who worked several jobs to keep his son racing is a great inspiration. Lewis went ahead to break world records and by the age of 15, he was seizing headlines and being crowned the sport’s youngest number one on many fronts.
I look forward to watching this historic race. Where will you be watching from? Let history be written. I am a Lewis fan and I will be cheering him up. I pray there will not be any issues with his car and race.